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Department of Psychology

  • Barnwell College


The Department of Psychology, in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, is located in Barnwell College, just off the historic Horseshoe. The University of South Carolina is the state's flagship institution and is a comprehensive research university. 

Undergraduate Studies

The Department of Psychology offers two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Both provide training in the theories and practices of psychology, combined with a liberal arts background. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 undergraduate psychology majors, about 13.5 percent of all of the College's undergraduate majors. The Undergraduate Student Services Office is staffed by an undergraduate coordinator and peer counselors to advise, assist and provide timely information to its majors.


Graduate Studies

The graduate psychology programs offer both the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in experimental psychology, clinical-community psychology and school psychology.

In addition to the three graduate degree programs, the Department of Psychology has developed several research themes.  One long-standing research theme is child and family psychology, an area focusing on social, emotional, behavioral and health functioning of children and adolescents, with research on development, etiology, prevention, and treatment in community, family, and school contexts. 

A second major research theme centers around cognitive neuroscience.  Core researchers in this area use the latest brain science technologies to explore the neural basis of human cognition, utilizing facilities that include several EEG systems, eye tracking systems, electrical and transcranial magnetic stimulation methods, and MRI/fMRI scans. In addition to these two large thematic research areas, there are several areas that partially overlap with the two major themes. 

The department continues cutting edge research in behavioral neuroscience, as researchers investigate animal models of human disorders and conditions including effects of AIDS, drug and alcohol use, and obesity on brain and behavior. 

The area of children in schools includes assessment, academic interventions, and mental health practices.  Other research foci in the department include community and multicultural psychology, quantitative methodology in psychology and health issues and disparities.


Our Place in Columbia

Located in Columbia, the state capital with a metropolitan population of nearly 800,000, the university and its community provide numerous social and cultural benefits which enhance the overall quality of life. These include numerous theaters offering live productions; SEC sports; minor league baseball; one of the nation's top zoos and botanical gardens; many museums; award winning Richland County library; Fort Jackson and its on-base school district, one of the Army's largest training facilities and a site used for research and assessment training of students; and affordable off-campus housing and services.


Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Psychology is to promote and advance the discipline of psychology as a basic and applied science.

This is achieved through:

  1. Excellence in scientific research and scholarship recognized nationally and internationally;
  2. Dissemination of psychological knowledge to students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels through high quality instruction, mentoring, advisement, professional development, and achievement of national prominence among graduate programs;
  3. Service to the university, community and profession.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.